James River State Park, six miles down river from Bent Creek, opened June 20, 1999. The park has three miles of river frontage, 1,500 acres of rolling farm meadows, three fishing ponds, beautiful vistas, 15 miles of hiking trails and quiet forests. The waters of the James have shaped life in this area's past and will shape its future. Monacan Indians, the earliest known settlers, hunted, fished and traveled the river. In the early 1700s, the Cabell family settled along the river, cultivated the rich soils of the floodplain and shipped produce down river to Richmond. A flat-bottomed boat known as the bateau was invented and the Kanawha canal was built to make travel and shipping on the river easier. The James River brought people to this area, provided for their needs and helped them build a future. The park offers opportunities to explore the wildlife and habitat native to the foothills of the Blue Ridge. Whether floating, fishing or hiking, you can enjoy breathtaking views found only at James River State Park.